Raising Meat Chickens with Marjory Wildcraft – Free to Watch!

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I received this from my friend Marjory Wildcraft today – definitely worth checking out for those of you who aren’t fans of factory-raised chicken. I’ve raised my own meat birds before and the flavor and cost were more than worth it. Much easier than raising hens for eggs, in fact.

 

unnamedOver the years, I’ve met a lot of people who tell me they couldn’t raise their own livestock for meat because they don’t have the heart to kill the animal for food when it’s time.

When I hear this, I remind these folks that this is what community is for.

You don’t need to do these things alone.

Marjory Wildcraft’s new documentary film, “Raising Meat Chickens,” shares a great example of this.

In this film, you have the opportunity to shadow Marjory around her property for eight weeks, as she raises a flock of meat chickens, from egg to table.

She walks you step by step through the entire, often entertaining process…

And near the end, she introduces you to her community approach for processing the birds.

Because as she wisely points out:

We all have hunters in our family.

Even if we’re not hunters ourselves. 

So not only is this film a perfect starting point for anyone interested in raising their own chickens for meat.

Marjory shows you, step by step, how she raises her own organic, free- range chickens.

It’s ALSO ideal for anyone on the fence about raising livestock for meat.

Watch it with your spouse or family or neighbors or friends … whoever might be interested in raising a flock of meat chickens “in community” with you.

And see how you can share the work…

… And the reward!

In my opinion, raising livestock with community is the most honest, humane way to eat meat.

 

Watch The FREE 72-Hour Screening Here.

At the very least, it’ll help you better understand what the process of raising meat chickens on your own property could look like.

Just sign up to watch here, and you’ll be emailed access as soon as it’s available.”

David-the-good-books-revised

Back in the garden

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The rains finally let up long enough for me to get back to gardening and filming videos.

On Thursday I posted an update on my vanilla orchids:

Then today, my progress on the little garden beds:

That set of beds is really a mess. I need to clear the rest and I think I’m going to cut the perennial cucumber vines way back and let them regrow. They’re insane.

I have to be careful in those beds, though, as I have multiple good edibles in there which are also perennials. I probably should have stuck to just annuals in those beds; however, it’s one of the few sunny spots where I can get things going and keep an eye on them.

It feels good to be outside and working again. The rain has truly been ridiculous, plus I’ve had a lot of work indoors that has kept me from gardening as much as I should.

Anything going on in your gardens right now? Get some fall crops in yet?

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A Week of Rain

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This last week we’ve had so much rain the farm is a sopping wet mess.

Down below the cocoa orchard, the creek is a roaring torrent of muddy water.

Occasionally, the rain has stopped in the lowlands and opened up a view of mountains shrouded in clouds and mist.

It rained for 3 days straight. Mountains are still misty.

A post shared by David Good (@david_t_good) on

But mostly it’s just rained. That kept me from doing much of anything on YouTube this last week.

I’m hoping it clears up a little soon. Mom flies in this afternoon and the baby is almost due. It would be nice to take my very pregnant wife to the beach one last time before the delivery.

Last week I managed to finish my second draft of Turned Earth: A Jack Broccoli Novel and send it out to be proofed, and I secured an artist for the cover.

This is a piece he did for another project:

Yeah, I think that’ll be just about right.

I also worked on the upcoming film Night of the Bahfeemus.

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As you can tell from the screen cap, it’s a deep psychological drama. If I’m lucky, I may actually even finish it. Putting together a movie – even a ridiculous joke one – takes a lot of time.

Along with the movie and the novel, I wrote an article, wrote a newsletter, did my normal daily posts here, worked on a short story for an anthology, managed some various other work and took my wife to the hospital for some tests.

Probably the most entertaining thing that happened this week happened to our sofa.

One of the children sat on it and it collapsed. I pulled it away from the wall and we discovered multiple trails of termites had come up through the floor and into the sofa, completely eating into it and destroying one of the legs.

Okay, that’s obviously not good. I sevin-dusted the termites yesterday but the sofa appears to be a complete loss.

Things fall apart fast in the tropics. Mold grows on the walls, termites eat through furniture and a log in the yard will rot into mush within a year.

Especially when the rains keep humidity levels close to 100%.

 

*           *            *

 

“The Lord is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the strength of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid?

When the wicked came against me
To eat up my flesh,
My enemies and foes,
They stumbled and fell.

Though an army may encamp against me,
My heart shall not fear;
Though war may rise against me,
In this I will be confident.

One thing I have desired of the Lord,
That will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord
All the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord,
And to inquire in His temple.

For in the time of trouble
He shall hide me in His pavilion;
In the secret place of His tabernacle
He shall hide me;
He shall set me high upon a rock.

And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me;
Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle;
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.

Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice!
Have mercy also upon me, and answer me.

When You said, “Seek My face,”
My heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.”

Do not hide Your face from me;
Do not turn Your servant away in anger;
You have been my help;
Do not leave me nor forsake me,
O God of my salvation.

When my father and my mother forsake me,
Then the Lord will take care of me.

Teach me Your way, O Lord,
And lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies.

Do not deliver me to the will of my adversaries;
For false witnesses have risen against me,
And such as breathe out violence.

I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.

Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!”

 

-Psalm 27, NKJV

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Pumpkin Progress and Failure

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Earlier this week I posted a new video from the downhill pumpkin patch:

Though I pull in some good pumpkins, you can also see that the patch is under-performing – and I am not sure why. I should be getting a lot more. There are large areas yielding nothing.

All the hills were fertilized when the pumpkins started running. They’ve had lots of water and a good bit of sun in between, plus I kept the weeds down for the most part.

I am getting pumpkins, but many of these vines were grown from the seeds of fruit which were much larger than the ones I’m now pulling in.

Vine borers have sown up, but still – even the unaffected vines are mostly making 5-7lb fruit instead of 12-20lb.

My suspicion is that the soil here is not as good as advertised. I’ve been told again and again that the local soil is rich; however, I often had better luck with vegetables in my sandy North Florida yard.

If I owned the piece of ground I’m currently farming, I would dedicate myself to soil improvement via the planting of natural vegetative strips and chop-and-drop plants and trees, plus the addition of biochar and ashes.

I discovered with some exploratory digging that my sweet potato bed near the house is also a failure. It’s yielding a pathetic amount of small tubers, just like the previous bed I harvested earlier in the year.

I kicked tail growing sweet potatoes in North Florida but not here.

And I fed these beds with manure, compost tea, seaweed, compost and even some chemical fertilizer when everything else wasn’t helping.

I’m stumped. Something isn’t right.

David-the-good-books-revised

Waffle Gardening – A Method for Arid Climates

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Last week The Grow Network posted an article on Pueblo farming methods which included a video on “waffle gardening.”

Though the video doesn’t have much practical information, it did point me along a new line of research with its reference to waffle gardens.

This is not a method with which I was previously familiar, though I have encountered other water-saving kitchen garden techniques including sunken beds and zai pits.

I found a further post on the method, which has this food overview:

“Since the time Zuni was inhabited their survival was dependent on what the land provided. They developed different types of farming methods that enabled them to contest the variable water availability and inadequate soil quality that is common in desert soils. These methods include terrace gardening, a type of farming that allowed them to use the hillslopes of the mesas to divert water among several stair case terraces. On a larger scale is a type of agriculture known as dry-land farming or run-off agriculture which farmers used to grow important staple crops such as maize, squash, beans, and cotton. These agricultural fields were strategically placed on alluvial fans, which allowed farmers to capture and divert runoff and nutrient rich sediment from upper watersheds (Homburg et al.).

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On a smaller scale, “waffle” gardening was maintained by each household.”

And the author follows by describing how she built a waffle garden of her own.

If I were in a low rainfall climate, I’d experiment with waffle gardens. Unfortunately, I can only live in one place at a time.

David-the-good-books-revised

Pumpkins and Air Potatoes

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I jumped back into video production this week. The gardens aren’t as nice as I’d like right now, but there’s still plenty to see.

I wish I could tell if those air potatoes are really, really safe.

As one of YouTube commenters wrote, I could test them on wandering sheep.

 

*          *          *

Vindicate me, O Lord,
For I have walked in my integrity.
I have also trusted in the Lord;
I shall not slip.

Examine me, O Lord, and prove me;
Try my mind and my heart.

For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes,
And I have walked in Your truth.
I have not sat with idolatrous mortals,
Nor will I go in with hypocrites.
I have hated the assembly of evildoers,
And will not sit with the wicked.

I will wash my hands in innocence;
So I will go about Your altar, O Lord,

That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving,
And tell of all Your wondrous works.

Lord, I have loved the habitation of Your house,
And the place where Your glory dwells.

Do not gather my soul with sinners,
Nor my life with bloodthirsty men,

In whose hands is a sinister scheme,
And whose right hand is full of bribes.

But as for me, I will walk in my integrity;
Redeem me and be merciful to me.

My foot stands in an even place;
In the congregations I will bless the Lord.

-Psalm 26, NKJV

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Mud Bricks

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This guy…

His videos really give you an idea how much work went into creating simple items before the advent of modern tools and manufacturing. The final products are truly beautiful.

I don’t think I’m going to build my next house this way, though.

David-the-good-books-revised

YouTube Blues II

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Karla isn’t a fan of the daily YouTubing:

“What are the “few successful videos”? I’d bet they are evergreen feature types that are among your technically best and most broadly appealing videos. If there’s a pattern there, go with it — or at least explore it further.”

My top videos are:

How to Make Chewing Tobacco (258k views)

Top 10 Mistakes to Avoid When Harvesting Rain Water (250k views)

Best Composting Toilet I’ve Seen Yet (209k views)

Cleft Grafting a Fig Tree (195k views)

How to Germinate Peach Pits and Other Stone Fruit (111k views)

An (Almost) Instant Compost Pile (94k views)

How to Change the Transmission Fluid in a Dodge Ram (79k views)

How to Make Paper Fire Bricks / Fire Logs from Recycled Paper (70k views)

Rocket Stove Manufacturers Hate Him! Local Kid Improves Cob Rocket Stove with this One Weird Trick (65k views)

Awesome Homemade Kegerator and Home Brewing Setup (60k views)

Those ten videos represent almost all of my YouTube income. I have over 500 videos.

There are videos I like better than those in my top ten; however, YouTube algorithms are a weird thing. It’s very hard to tell what is going to “go viral” and what will not. “Rocket Stove Manufacturers Hate Him” was a joke title and the video isn’t all that innovative. The “(Almost) Instant Compost Pile” video is mostly Rachel talking while I throw together a bin made of pallets.

The “how-to” videos seem to be the way to go, though. Most of the top ten are that sort.

She continues:

“I love learning from you — you’ve completely changed the way I look at gardening and the natural world. That goes whether I’m consuming a book, blog post or video of yours — except for the daily videos. I’m tired of watching you walk up and down a hill and wing it topically. I don’t get enough out of those videos to sink 7 to 9 minutes of my life into them. From the outside, it appears to me that the only reason to do those dailies is just to be able to say you post on YouTube daily, which isn’t your style. So if daily videos are a poorly paying time sink for you, allocate less time to them and more time to more lucrative manners of spreading your gospel already.”

Actually, the regular YouTube posting isn’t just to say I post on YouTube daily. I shoot for 4-5 videos a week. This is on the advice of Justin Rhodes, though he urged me to post seven days a week. His channel went nuts when he did that. My content, even when I’m winging it, is more entertaining than 99% of the gardening videos on YouTube, but I get the criticism. I am not much of a video watcher myself. I do YouTube to reach a visual audience. I prefer to communicate through writing, but many more people are on YouTube. The views there compared to the views on this blog testify to that. Also, the YouTube videos are targeted at a lower-IQ audience than my writing. It’s deliberate. I’m not going to go full reality TV-show like Justin (I honestly can’t watch most of his videos), though that’s a great way to make much more money. I don’t put my entire family on the net, because it’s full of evil people, plus I find videos about being sick in the car and going to the dentist obnoxious. Yet he is a MAJOR YouTube success! And helped me get to where I am. So it’s a matter of finding the niche, I suppose.

That said, I do make some ridiculous jokes and put up some stupid things just for fun. And yes, I do wander around and wing it in many videos. They’re not for everyone, obviously. My books are what I really am proud of. The YouTube thing is partly for reaching new people and partly as a side income. I was hoping to build it into a serious income over time, but it’s moving slower than I would like.

“There’s nothing wrong with thinking that way. If you want to make a full-time go at this, you have to look at your options that way. It’s not selfish or greedy. If your content doesn’t make you money, your audience will lose out on future content — a lose-lose. Besides, if a particular medium pays more, chances are it’s a medium your audience enjoys more. So, again, mind those patterns.

Just please no podcasts, because I’m so not an auditory learner.

As for the moral quandary of YouTube-ing, you’re on your own. Godspeed.”

The pattern is definitely moving towards video and audio and away from print, unfortunately. I have written and produced thousands of radio programs – no kidding – as that was my life before jumping full-time into garden writing. A podcast would be easy for me to do. Again, I know some people aren’t going to get it. That’s why I write books as well. And I then put my books into audio for those that prefer it.

YouTube is evil but it’s probably a necessary evil at this point. I may cut down my production of videos for a time and see what happens, or re-focus the content. I’ve been very busy writing a novel lately so it’s been good to not have all the videos to produce.

I do need to film Bahfeemus II, though.

As for Patreon, as some have mentioned, I’m not sure how I feel about it. It would be a good way to skip the ads – but on the other hand it feels like ebegging. You guys can let me know what you think about that. Worth doing?

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